With all the instability provoked by the possibility of the United Kingdom (“UK”) to activate article 50 º of the Lisbon Treaty, commonly known as “Brexit”, and leave the European Union, many British nationals are considering other options in order to keep their benefits as European citizens. Many of them live already outside of the UK.
Both Portuguese non-habitual resident (NHR) program and specially the “Golden Visa” programme (Golden Residence Permit Programme), may be an excellent alternative to this problem. With the combination of this two programs:
- Non-habitual resident programme; and,
- Golden Visa,
UK nationals may benefit from a low taxation regime in Portugal and guarantee a safe future by being linked (by residency or by nationality) to a European Union member country with all the benefits associated with this status.
Recently, it was published a very useful article in the AlgarveDailyNews.com, where the author stressed out some of the main advantages of becoming a Portuguese citizen:
“Several reasons for taking on Portuguese nationality:
- Lifelong access to state healthcare. Amongst retired UK expats across Europe, access to state healthcare is the most cited reason to move back to the UK.
- Should you become mentally or physically incapacitated you will not have the worry of reapplying for a UK passport or Portuguese permanent residency, both of which only last for 10 years.
- Certainty regarding your status in an EU country after Brexit.
- The ability to move around Europe unhindered after Brexit and enjoy all the benefits of being an EU citizen.
- Being able to vote in national elections.”
The full article can be found at http://www.algarvedailynews.com/news/11006-become-a-portuguese-citizen-and-keep-your-british-passport .
Additionally, and one of the strongest points of the Portuguese Citizenship Law is that it assures that after 5 years, the holder of the Residence Permit may apply for the Portuguese nationality and keep both nationalities, British and Portuguese. The possibility of not giving up their British nationality isn´t possible in most countries, for example in Spain, where it is mandatory to abdicate one of the nationalities.
Besides the non-habitual residency programme for tax purposes and the Residency Permit/Gold Visa programme, Portugal as a great quality of life to those who want to establish their home base here. You may choose to live in Portugal or not according to your family/business needs.
Who may apply?
All third country citizens who conduct an investment activity, as an individual businessperson or through a company set up in Portugal or in another EU Member State, provided these citizens fulfil the quantitative requirements and the time requirements set out by the relevant legislation, may apply for a Residence Permit for Investment, by one of the following routes:
- Capital transfer with a value equal to or above € 1,000,000;
- The creation of, at least, 10 job positions;
- The purchase of real estate property with a value equal to or above € 500,000 or ;
- The purchase of real estate property, with construction dating back more than 30 years or located in urban regeneration areas, for refurbishing, for a total value equal to or above € 350,000 or € 280,000;
- Capital transfer with a value equal to or above € 350,000 for investing in research activities conducted by public or private scientific research institutions involved in the national scientific or technologic system;
- Capital transfer with a value equal to or above € 250,000 for investing in artistic output or supporting the arts, for reconstruction or refurbishment of the national heritage, through the local and central authorities, public institutions, public corporate sector, public foundations, private foundations of public interest, networked local authorities, local corporate sector organizations, local associations and public cultural associations, pursuing activities of artistic output, and reconstruction or maintenance of the national heritage;
- Capital transfer with a value equal to or above € 500,000, for purchasing shares in investment funds or in venture capital geared to capitalize small and medium companies that, in turn, must present a feasible capitalization plan.
More information written in English about the Golden Visa Programme/ARI Porgramme can be found at http://www.sef.pt/portal/v10/en/aspx/apoiocliente/detalheApoio.aspx?fromIndex=0&id_Linha=6269
Portuguese, EU and EEE nationals are not eligible for the ARI / Golden Visa scheme. However, you may start to plan ahead your investment in Portugal or making it so when the day comes it all sorts easier and faster. You may count with our help in order to take care of all the necessary steps to do so or simply to clarify any doubts or questions you may have.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive in relation to the matters covered here.
Lisbon, February 2017
Rodolfo José Santos